Yogyakarta attractions: how to enjoy time & save money

If you are planning to visit Yogyakarta city in Java island most probably you already know what you want to see there? If not, you will find suggestions to visit famous Hindu temple Prambanan and Buddhist Borobudur temple, Sultan palace and Water castle, Malioboro street and etc. But there are more Yogyakarta attractions which you can visit if you have just a bit more than 2 days to stay here.

Here are some practical tips for visiting Yogyakarta attractions. Hope it can help you to save some money, avoid scammers and enjoy Yogyakarta tour.

Most popular Yogyakarta attractions

Borobudur, Prambanan, Ratu Boko temples

        • If you have possibility, don’t plan to visit these temples during weekends or Indonesian holidays. Then you can avoid mass of people and especially Indonesians, who will ask take a picture with you. If you have time and it gives fun for you – then don’t think about which days to visit, just go when you can.
        • It’s worth to visit Borobudur temple during Vesak day. First of all you will see beautiful Buddhist ceremony which will end with lanterns in the sky. Second, if you will donate money (what is ~100 000 Rp – ~6 USD), you will get lantern and free entrance to Borobudur (that usually costs 20 USD). But if you want to enjoy whole ceremony you should plan whole day to stay Borobudur area, like ceremony starts in the morning and end in the late night ~1-3 am. During day time, you can visit Mendut, Pawon temples as well. And don’t be shy to go inside monastery beside Mendut temple, the atmosphere there so magical.

Candi Prambanan

        • Some people go to see sunrise in Borobudur temple (more expensive entrance ticket). But you can come exactly at 6 am buy regular ticket and be in a hurry to go to the top of the temple. You will still see sunrise. Just not all the time sunrises are breathtaking that you can see in the pictures – it’s nature, that you can’t predict. So why buy more expensive ticket? As well to see sunrise people goes not far from Borobudur on Setumbu hill from which you can see small silhouette of Borobudur, enjoy nature view and if interested visit Chicken church.
        • If you will visit Prambanan temple in the evening, check if they have Ramayana performance there. Somebody thinks that it’s too boring, but it’s a part of Indonesian culture. See this performance in Prambanan open theater and especially during full moon something magnificent.

Buddha statue in Vesak day

        • If you will buy Borobudur, Prambanan tour from travel agency (certificated one) you can get tickets with discount. But those 2 temples you should visit during 2 days with the same agent.
        • Not far from Prambanan temple you can visit Twin and Ratu Boko temples. To see sunset in Ratu Boko temple cost more than daytime ticket but as well you can buy package of Prambanan and Ratu Boko, that in total will cost you less.
Ratu Boko sunset
Waiting for the sunset.

You may be interested to check Erika’s from Erika’s travel blog story about visiting Borobudur and Prambanan temples.

Kraton – Sultan palace

        • Each day in Kraton there are different performances that you can enjoy: traditional dance, wayang kulit (shadow theater), gamelan and etc. So you can check what is more interesting for you and visit Kraton on exact day.
        • Inside Kraton there are no English descriptions, so you should make “homework” and read about it before if you want to understand everything or hire local Kraton guide, who will explain all the things for you.

Yogyakarta attractions - Kraton

Taman sari – Water castle

        • Like in Kraton, here you won’t find any descriptions in English, so you should make again “homework” or hire local guide who will tell you everything.
        • Usually the guides standing in front of entry and suggesting their services. The price depends how good you are in negotiation. Before taking a tour, agree clearly the amount of money that you will pay. Please don’t forget that salary in Indonesia is low and people try to earn money. Don’t negotiate the price too low, give a chance them to earn for their work.
        • Taman Sari has 2 entrances. 1 is for free but you won’t see there anything just ruins, where youngsters like to date during the evening and 2 the main one (paid entrance). Free entrance you can recognize by the market in front, main entrance has big parking area in front.

Yogyakarta tour - Taman sari

Malioboro street, Beringharjo market, “lady boys” performance

    • Malioboro street is the main street where you can buy souvenirs, batik clothes, see “lady boys” (“waria”) in “Mirota Batik” performance, try street food, exchange money in good rates (in “Mulia money exchange”, inside “Garuda” hotel area).
    • If you want to see “lady boys” performance and have better places to sit, come at least ~1 hours before (like many people goes there). But don’t expect too much. By the time I was there, most of the songs were Indonesian and only Indonesian people understood the jokes. As well sometimes the separate performances not so quality (I think in Thailand they are much better but more expensive as well).

Malioboro st. during daytime

  • Malioboro street becomes like crazy in the evenings because many people hang out there, as well there are many hotels around. But more crowded and interesting there during some holidays. For example: Chinese New Year, Javanese New Year and etc.
  • Even if common that in markets the prices should be cheaper but I found that buying batik in Beringharjo market is more expensive than in shops opposite this market. Probably because of the name (like its touristic attraction) they put higher prices. And not all batik is handmade, mostly made in factory. In opposite shops you can find as well the same variety or batik things and a bit cheaper.

Scammers

        • If you don’t take local guide in Water castle, local people inside can just come by the way to you and start to tell some things about object. You should know that later they will ask money for that. So if you don’t wan have not nice situation – first say for a person that you don’t need his service or if you will decide that he can be useful, agree about the price before continuing the tour.
        • Many becak/ojeck drivers near Water castle or Sultan palace will suggest you a drive from one place to another. But honestly distance between these objects is maximum 15 min. by walk. You can just have a walk or use their services, but again before start the trip agree about the price. It can cost ~10 000 – 20 000 Rp depends if you will choose ojeck with motor or becak (pedicap).
        • Some scammers will say that they can lead you to secret entrances and etc. for extra money. But there are no secret entrances, only main entrances.

Other Yogyakarta attractions

It’s just couple of things that sometimes people choose to see, do or at least thinking about it.

Parangtritis beach

It’s ~ 1 hour from Yogyakarta city center. But honestly it’s quite dirty beach with grey sand and without possibility to swim there. But most of the time sunsets there amazing. If you are extreme lover, you can try sand-boarding (really fun, I tried) or paragliding there (if you have time).

A photo posted by I’m Ria – (@lifeinbigtent) on

I’m trying sand-boarding

Trekking in Merapi volcano

Most of the travelers trekking there during the night to see sunrise. It’s possible to organize the trip by yourself but better take a tour – will be faster and easier (especially if you don’t have too much time). As well after sunrise some goes to Kaliurang and have lava jeep tour around area. If you want to do all these things you will need almost whole day for it.

First colors of sunrise in back of mount Merapi

What else to do in Yogyakarta?

Try dishes from cobra meat

I have been in Kobra Imperial Kitchen (Jalan Hayam Wuruk 19, Yogyakarta). The place not fancy, very simple but they have quite a lot of different dishes from cobra meat, drinks as well Chinese food. The price is good and food delicious.

Try in Yogyakarta - cobra meat

Try your luck going between twin Beringin trees

It’s located at South alun-alun (Sultan’s square). People say if you can pass between these tress with closed eyes your wish will come true. I tried twice, but not succeeded. But I found in internet some information about how works our brains about such kind of walks.

Have a night drive around Alun-Alun selatan Kraton

It’s quite busy place in the evenings, full of Indonesian people, street food vendors. You can have fun riding with sparkling and loud music car.

Yogyakarta night drive

 

Yogyakarta attractions pinterest
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Of course there are much more Yogyakarta attractions: Kota Gede (area of silver making), rafting in Elo or Progo rivers, Tugu Yogya, workshops of batik, silver, poetry, leather, beaches in Gunung Kidul and etc. Everything depends just on you, how much time you have and what is your interests.

In any case if you are visiting Yogyakarta, check events, to attend them could be quite interesting experience.

 

Are you planning to visit Yogyakarta soon? Do you know what you would like to do there? Maybe have been here and would like to suggest your discovered Yogyakarta attractions?

 

 

If you need somebody to lead you in Yogyakarta, drive somewhere, you can contact Hendra (trustful guide).


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How to travel from Yogyakarta to Bali in economical way

In general traveling in Indonesia or other Asian countries is quite cheap. Just one “small” detail – you need to have time. Like some destinations are quite far from each other (even if in the map looks closer) and the cheapest way of traveling is by land.

One of the most popular destinations in Indonesia – Bali island. But people try to travel around and not stay only in Bali. Most common that travelers fly to Jakarta, then through Java island (visiting Yogyakarta, Mount Bromo and Ijen) reach Bali. There people stay longer or go to other islands (Lombok, Komodo, Gilis and etc.).

The economical way to go from Yogyakarta to Bali is take “economi” train (yes, they have other train types as well – Executive (Eksecutif), Business (Bisnis)). The cheapest way would be hitch-hiking, but not all people likes it and most of travelers have limited time for holidays.

Technically you can’t get from Yogyakarta to Bali only by train because it’s 2 separate islands (Yogyakarta is in Java island). With train from Java you can reach only Java island port. From there you still need to use ferry to get to Bali harbor and use other transport (bus, taxi, car, motorbike) to get to any city in Bali island.

How to get to Bali
All train stops from Yogyakarta to Bali

So, how to travel from Yogyakarta to Bali in economical way?

  1. Take “economi” train from Yogyakarta Lempuyangan railway station. It leaves every day in early morning. Journey takes 13-15 hours. Cost 1 way/per person  100 000 Rp (~7,5 USD).
  2. From Banyuwangi Baru railway station go straight to Ketapang port (it’s ~10 min. by foot from train station).
  3. Take a ferry from Ketapang port to Bali Gilimanuk harbor. Ferries goes 24 hours. It takes ~40 min. (can be less or more, depends on the “traffic” in the sea). Cost 1 way/per person  7 500 Rp (~0,55 USD).
  4. From Bali Gilimanuk harbor catch other transportation to go to needed Bali city. For that you have couple options:
  • In the ferry look around if there are any cars with 1-2 people or motorbikes with 1 person. Go to ask those people if they could bring you to any city in Bali (depends on their own destinations, but most probably they will go to Denpasar, Ubud or Kuta). As well you can see buses – go to talk with a driver if  there are any free seat for you (but for this they will ask extra money. Amount depends on the driver, so you can try to negotiate with him).
  • If you feel too shy/uncomfortable to speak with local people – you can try to catch a bus in Bali harbor, just nobody knows exact night bus timings. Maybe you will need to wait 1 hour maybe till the morning. The bus stop is on the right side after you will exit harbor (but most of the time drivers already try to catch travelers in harbor and invite them to follow). But it’s not so nice to stay in empty harbor. There are few “warungs” (“street cafes”) which works all night long but sometimes people there a bit strange and you can feel uncomfortable there. Usually bus takes to Denpasar 3-5 hours (depends on bus type, one stopping in each corner to collect people, other – go straight to Denpasar). Price from Bali Gilimanuk harbor to Denpasar cost 1 way/per person  30 000-50 000 Rp (~2,16-3,60 USD) depends how good you are in bargain :) But at night price can be a bit higher.



Pros for traveling from Yogyakarta to Bali by train
Cons for traveling from Yogyakarta to Bali by train
Tips for traveling from Yogyakarta to Bali by train (ferry and bus)
How to by train ticket from Yogyakarta to Bali

If you will decide to travel to other places in Indonesia by train, here is more information about other train routes.

How I traveled from Yogyakarta to Bali by train?

How to travel from Yogyakarta to Bali in economical way

I traveled by train twice. First time, we decided not to go straight to the ferry but stay overnight in the hostel that we found in the train station area. We went to Bali next morning. Second time – I went straight to Bali harbor where my friend pick me up with motorbike. But believe me it was very tiring and long journey. We reach Sanur only at 6 am (took ~5 hours go by motorbike).

If you will decide to stay overnight in Banyuwangi as well. We stayed in simple place. Nothing fancy, rooms are small, without proper windows. One type rooms have shared bathroom (cost 75 000 Rp), others – private (price 100 000 Rp) per night. In this place they don’t make any reservation. Who comes first get a bed. It’s clean place but made just for overnight stay. In the morning you can order coffee, breakfast for additional money.

I met one traveler who told that he stays in other place for 45 000 Rp but I don’t know exactly where that place is, as well at night I didn’t want to search for it :). But here you can see other places to stay.

Hostel in Ketapang port, where we stayed.

If you want to make your trip more memorable and you have extra time, I suggest on the way to Bali stop in Bromo and Ijien volcanoes. It will be things that for sure you won’t forget. Just check Lili’s practical guide to Kawah Ijen and enjoy your journey!

 

What is your experience traveling by trains in Asia? Would you recommend it for other travelers?


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Guidelines how to become annoying tourist in Asia

While you are traveling you almost can’t avoid meeting other travelers, tourists on your way. But let’s be clear who is “tourist” and who is “traveler”. Most common definition of “tourist” is “a person who is traveling, especially for pleasure”. “Traveler” – “someone who is traveling or who travels often”. I think (and I use this description in this post): “tourist” a person who comes to a place just to take what he wants, needs, put “check” on the “been/seen/done” list. He thinks everything goes only around his needs; “traveler” – a person, who comes to a place to give, understand, be a part of local culture. Who wants to make trade – take but as well give something in return.

If tourist wants to get the most benefits of being a tourist, be noticed by local people, other travelers – he should follow these guidelines. Then he can claim to get award of most annoying tourist in Asia.

How to become the most annoying tourist in Asia

#1 Become a speaker

How will people know you or understand better, if you won’t share how you feel, think without saying it? It’s too tiring to speak with each person about yourself? So just be sure to speak as loud as you can with a person in front of you. Then everybody who is around (workers, other tourists, travelers) will hear you and you will get attention, even if you are not the most important person in that place.

#2 Be proud of your success by showing how much money you have

You feel that people won’t give attention to you if you won’t start to show/tell how rich you are. And because of it you can get everything you want? So do it! Don’t accept any negative answer to your wishes, just tell people that you have a lot of money and you can buy everything you want: respect, justice, people and etc. Like you believe people in Asia are poor, so money the only way to solve problems, get anything.

Tourist in Asia

#3 Forget your clothes

You have worked so hard in the gym a month before the holiday (just to look good in photos that you will share in your social profiles). So why you should cover your body with clothes? Swimsuit is not only for beach, walk with it in the city as well. Why you should dress properly in front of local people, respect their religion and culture? Who are they – just locals, don’t care about them. Don’t forget you are the main person!

#4 No need to use simple humanity rules

Local people don’t understand when you are polite with them. Only if you scream, showing disrespect – they will solve your problems. They are not normal people like you or those with whom you deal in your own country. So act differently than you do in your country.
You respect only those who are wort it, right? Who are local people? You don’t know them, you don’t understand them. So, why you should respect them? Don’t do that, act with them like they are not humans.

#5 Delete words “local rules” from your vocabulary

You should forget expression “local rules”. You are not local, you are tourist, just temporary staying for your vacation. You should have good time, do things that you don’t do in your own country, without thinking about anything. Remember – “rules” are not for you! Drive motorbike without helmet, as fast as you can, with as many people on motorbike as you can take and etc. Don’t think that it can be danger for you and other people. If others do like this, why can’t you? You don’t need to think, you left your brain at home and want just follow others behavior – it’s much easier.

Tourist in Asia

#6 Make a challenge for yourself

Alcohol in your country too expensive? Don’t have reasons to get drunk there? Yes, the vacation in Asia is right time and place to be drunk whole days! Get drunk till stage when local people try to help you find where are you staying or call for help like you can’t even stand up (and your friends just left you lying somewhere). Holiday is all about it – be drunk all the time.

#7 Take pictures of local people like in the zoo

While you are completing your “been/seen/done” list, you will meet local people which maybe you will find interesting. So just go to them, put photo camera in front of their faces, no matter what they are doing at that time, and try to get the best shot. Don’t forget make as much as possible shots. As well don’t think to be polite and ask people permission to make their picture. Some locals in Asia don’t speak English, so why you need to waste your time for asking permission? Feel free just behave with them like with animals in the zoo.

Tourists in Asia

#8 Follow your animal instincts

You feel passion here and right now? So have sex straight where you are, for example in the public hotel swimming pool. Who cares if somebody will see you? You feel passion and want to demonstrate it. After all, you do the same in your country, in other countries outside Asia while you are traveling. So, why you can’t do it here as well? And don’t forget to “order” local females/males for your sex games – like “it’s part of the culture”, “you can help them to earn a little money” and they “enjoy working this job”.

#9 Leave your brains at home

You worked hard for long time to get these couple weeks of pleasure. So just leave your brain at home and do things that you never do in your country or outside Asia. Get crazy, do dangerous things, don’t think about anything. Try everything that locals suggest even if you don’t know what this is. Vacation is the time when you don’t need any limits. And Asian countries just waiting for your craziness. Here is one of crazy thing which you can do in Asia.

So it’s all my tips to get award of most annoying tourist in Asia. Maybe you have suggest other tips?

Annoying tourists pinterest

 

I hope I haven’t offended any of you. But at least you know now how sometimes your behavior looks like from other point of view. And why local people treat you in the way which you don’t like. Keep in mind that everything is written in sarcastic way from my personal experience during traveling in Asia.

 

Pictures are taken from internet sources.

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